June 25, 2024

San Diego Surf Spot Reviews

This page serves as the backbone for GoSurfingSanDiego.com. As I continue to add more local surf spot reviews, this page will host a compilation of all my personal San Diego surf spot reviews. As you will notice in my full surf spot reviews, I rate them each using four main categories and an overall rating. While this section will only list the overall rating (one to five stars), simply click each name’s link to read the full surf spot review.

Prefer to begin with an overview to surfing in San Diego, start here.

san diego surf spot reviews
Join me on my quest to review all surf spots in San Diego!

Comprehensive List of all San Diego Surf Spot Reviews

In this list, you will find San Diego Surf Spot reviews ranked from high to low. Simply click the link to read the full review. This list will continue to expand as more reviews are added. Subscribe to be updated as soon as new spot reviews are added.


Trestles Surf Spot Review – As close to as perfect a wave as you can get. The mass crowds here are the only factor that dings this break from being a perfect 5/5.


Blacks Beach Surf Spot Review –  Blacks Beach Surf Spot has so much to offer. Hollow waves, beautiful scenery and abundant sea life. I still think it’s the best wave in all of San Diego. Check it out for yourself and find out!


Tourmaline Surf Spot Review – Tourmaline Surf Spot is the ideal wave for longboarders or for those still learning to surf. Mellow, fun waves for days!


Swamis Surf Spot Review – Swamis Surf Spot is one of the best surf breaks in all of San Diego. You have to deal with the crowd factor so be patient. You will be rewarded when you are.


Windansea Surf Spot Review Another San Diego classic and amazing wave that suffers due to crowds.


Sunset Cliffs Surf Spot Review – Sunset Cliffs Surf Spot can be one of the best breaks in all of San Diego during the right swell and direction. It’a powerful and fun wave blessed with beautiful scenery. The timing aspect to catch this wave when it’s good combined with the moderately difficult accessibility bring the overall rating down slightly.


Ponto Jetties Surf Spot Review – Ponto Jetties Surf Spot is a solid wave and is particularly good during a South summer swell. If you can snipe your waves in the crowds or catch it when the crowds are down – you’ll be smiles from ear to ear!


Seaside Reef Surf Spot Review – Seaside Reef Surf Spot is one of the best options in North County for the experienced surfer that doesn’t mind a crowd.


Hospitals Surf Spot Review – Hospitals Surf Spot La Jolla is a great wave for the experienced surfer. When Blacks is crowded, this the La Jolla reef break to check out first.


Cardiff Reef Surf Spot Review – One of the best longboarding waves in San Diego that is surfable for all skill levels. The overall score suffers due to crowds.


Imperial Beach Surf Spot Review – One of the best, lightly trafficked beach breaks in San Diego.


Oceanside Harbor Surf Spot ReviewOne of the better waves throughout San Diego during summer.


Camp Pendleton Del Mar Jetty Surf Spot Review – Enjoy this gem if you are able to on base. It’s a very good wave, not the best but enjoying it without many surfers is awesome.


D Street Surf Spot Review – D Street Surf Spot is a fun wave for the experienced surfer. One of the few waves you can actually get a barrel ride in San Diego.


Oceanside Pier Surf Spot Review – Another classic beach break in North County that can be extra special on large, combo swells.


Beacons Surf Spot Review Consistently fun wave, also great for longboarders and learners. Occasionally, primo waves!


Buccaneer Beach Surf Spot Review – A more advanced beach break with fun, fast sections. Not as crowded as O-Side Pier or Harbor.


Ocean Beach Pier Surf Spot Review Ocean Beach Pier Surf Spot is an above average, fairly consistent wave. Make a point to visit during wintertime for the best surfing conditions.


Scripps Pier Surf Spot Review – A consistent and solid beach break but it can get busy.


Terra Mar Point Surf Spot Review One of the few point breaks in San Diego. Has high potential for very solid surf conditions on a good swell.


San Elijo State Beach Surf Spot Review A fun and rippable wave at times. Easy to access and caters to both the beginner surfer and more advanced surfer pending swell size.


George’s Surf Spot Review – Peaky, energetic wave that is selectively good on the right combination of swells.


Grandview Surf Spot Review – A friendly wave in Encinitas suited to less experienced surfers but it still holds much potential for solid waves at times.


Del Mar 11th Street Surf Spot Review – Del Mar 11th Street is a fun and playful wave suited well for most ability levels. You can count on catching fun, uncrowded waves here. Don’t expect anything mind blowing though.


Torrey Pines State Beach – An above average beach break with generally consistent surf and lighter crowds.


Avalanche Jetty Ocean Beach Surf Spot Review – Reliable and fun surf for intermediates/beginners while nearby Big Jetty complements well for those more experienced.


Mission Beach Surf Spot Review – Two different breaks here that have consistent and mostly quality waves for all levels of surfers.


Crystal Pier Pacific Beach Surf Spot Review – Consistently average. Rarely epic. Best for PB locals, tourists, and beginner surfers.


La Jolla Shores Surf Spot Review – If I was rating this break for beginners only, it would be much higher. However, for more experienced surfers there are only occasional windows of magic here.


Coronado Island Surf Spot Review – A scenic wave but below average surf. Busy in summer but not the rest of the year.


Stone Steps Surf Spot Review Strike when the time is right and you’ll score awesome waves without crowds. Otherwise, a bit of a dud.

Surf Spot Reviews Outside of San Diego

Not every break I surf is in San Diego. As such, I would like to share my experiences with you of surfing other breaks around the country and the world!


Las Gaviotas Surf Spot Review (Baja Mexico) – Las Gaviotas Surf Spot is a fun, rideable wave for all levels of surfers. Definitely worth the trip across for the border for a chance to score an empty lineup.


Sayulita Surf Spot Review (Mainland Mexico) – Put surfing Sayulita Mexico on your list if it’s not there already. While Sayulita is average, the other breaks you can hit in the surrounding Nayarit region are top notch.


Rosarito Beach Surf Spot Review (Baja Mexico) – A lightly crowded Baja beach break but for good reason – the waves here are rarely worth driving to when better options exist nearby.

Surf Spot Reviews and Ratings System

As mentioned, I use a five star rating system. One star being the worst. Five stars being the best. Each surf spot is ranked with 4 main categories in mind: Accessibility, Wave, Crowd Factor, and Scenery. Next, I average out the rating across these four categories to determine the Overall surf spot score.

In this section, I will share a little more information on factors I use to rate each category so that you can better understand my reviews.

Accessibility: Generally, how easy is the wave to access. Is parking convenient, free, or paid? Do you have to hike in to the wave or not? Additionally, this category includes a rating on the difficulty of the paddle out. In summary, the easier the wave is to access; the higher score it will receive.

Wave: Arguably, the most important factor for my surf spot reviews. If one category were to receive more weight or bias toward the overall rating, this would be it. This category factors in the following:

  • Wave shape – Is it clean or sloppy?
  • Length of ride – The longer the ride, the higher the rating. Unless of course, it’s a spitting, hollow wave
  • Consistency – This includes not only how often the wave breaks at the spot but also how consistent the wave size is

Again, the better these factors are; the higher the rating.

Crowd Factor: Another important metric for rating surf spots. This one is pretty simple. The less crowded the wave, the higher the score. Crowded surf spots get a lower rating here even if the wave is good.

Scenery: Surfing is great. If you have nothing to look at, the experience is not as sublime. Basically, this metric measures how picturesque the coastline is. The prettier, the better.

Overall: I will average out the scores from the four categories above to determine the overall rating.

Most importantly, my goal is to help you have the funnest session by sharing with you a complete list of San Diego surf spot reviews.

In this list, you will find San Diego Surf Spot reviews ranked from high to low. Simply click the link to read the full review. This list will continue to expand as more reviews are added. Subscribe to be updated as soon as new spot reviews are added.

Not every break I surf is in San Diego. As such, I would like to share my experiences with you of surfing other breaks around the country and the world!

Go Surfing in San Diego!

That is the end of my San Diego Surf Spot reviews, for now…Check back soon as I’ll be frequently updating my list of San Diego Surf Spot reviews! Don’t see your favorite spot? Let me know. Otherwise, subscribe to get notified when I add new reviews.